Monday, February 23, 2009

Letter #6

Dear Veronica,

The dream to someday look into your eyes is holding steady, it's constant beat both calming and excruciating. I just finished my first cycle of ovulation medication, to stimulate the eggs, and it was not successful.

Dr. Liu, in his ever strange ways, seems cheery when I call him, asking him what our next step should be, "Well, just wait until day 35 of the cycle and take a pregnancy test. If you're not pregnant, we'll just up the dosage."

In other words, as he has said it before: quit worrying.

But I am worried.

The face I put on for others is a face of hope and optimism. The words come out of my mouth as I say that I will not be devastated if I cannot have biological children, but the truth is, my darling daughter unborn, I am afraid I will slip into a darkness that will shade me for the rest of my days if that happens. The reality is that life is given to you and there are portions of it which you can exercise control. Most parts, though, are handed to you, as is, and what you do with those parts, what you choose to create or act with it, is entirely up to you. I have trouble coping with that reality.

Someday, I hope, you will sit next to me and we will go over these letters together. I'm sure I will need some prompting about what I was thinking at 29 years of age, and I hope that these words will open a door of memories that will help guide you in your path of choices.

I want to include a picture with this letter. This is a picture of me, your old Mama at twenty years young, with another little girl. Her name is Veronica and she is the little girl you are named after. Taken in 2000, Veronica, now, is around fourteen years old and probably still in barrio Nueva Vida in Managua, Nicaragua.

Back in the old college days, I decided to live in Nicaragua for three months and work in areas that would challenge my ways of thinking. Nicaragua - Veronica - succeeded.

You see, darling, this child in the photo is a living breathing creature, beautiful in skin and hopelessly stubborn in manner. She insisted on sitting on my lap, not allowing any other child in the barrio to sit on her thrown, and when I coaxed embraces from other children, she growled at me and said, "No te hablo." I'm not talking to you. Mhm! She had a temper.

And nearly every day, for years, I thought of her. Ways to help her, buy her a tricycle, give her family food, ensure her health. The problems, though, are too big for me, or any one person to handle. Today, on the cusp of turning thirty with almost a decade that has passed since I last held her, I don't even know if she is alive. I think or hope or pray she is. I have to.

Your name, Veronica, is very special and someday I will tell you all the reasons why this name has burned its letters onto my heart. For now, though, this picture is all you need.

I want you to remember something, my child, in case you ever forget yourself: all children are created equal and therefore you will all grow into women that are equal. This world will tell you different. It will tell you that since you were born in a certain country with privileges, education, and industry, you are worth more. The world will tell you that your place in society is measured by the size of your wallet, the space of your house, the shine of your car, the interest rates of your stocks, the gleam of your hair, the smell of your breath, the shade of your skin, the mobility of your legs, the speed of your mind.

Remember this picture, dear, and remember that my desire for you came from a love of her. So, Veronica and you are, actually, sisters. You share a mother - me - who wants both of you to understand the world will attempt to define you or kill you. It will beat you to your knees with shame and labels.

I am here, living and writing, to tell you they are wrong and you are wrong if you believe them.

There is nothing greater in this world than the measure of what you will do for liberation and for how far you will go to bring a sense of peace to the places that will never know the quiet of stars because their skies are filled with the noise of bombs and bullets.

I make you sisters and gently remind you to care for one another, even if you never meet. Even if you are separated by everything and you find nothing in common, you are sisters. You are binded by my realization that I cannot sacrifice one without sacrificing the other. You need each other in every sense of the word survival.

You will be different in every way - sound, language, speech, and opportunity. But you both are precious in my eyes.

Veronica, my unborn daughter, someday I want you to charge into the world and question it as I did. I hope you turn in desperation, searching for some damn piece of truth that causes you to shake with disbelief and passion. I pray you will find another human being to whom you are accountable and holds you to a sense of humanity and humility far outreaching what you think you are capable. For you, I wish nothing but the most pure sense of life and experience.

That is what I searched for at twenty and that is when I found Veronica.

I found you.



  1. So your nueva vida, Veronica, will be the namesake of Veronica from Nueva Vida!

  2. this is beautiful. and i can see veronica's energy even from that one shot. no wonder you think of her.

    i had a miscarriage about a year ago. i'm sort of afraid of what i would write to my babies. i haven't really allowed myself to fall into that space. but...maybe i should.

    best of luck.

  3. Anonymous11:47 PM

    This is so beautiful and so filled with love. Thank you for sharing, as always.

  4. dear lisa,

    this is so beautiful. i xposted excerpts at

    thank you.


  5. Thanks everyone.


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